Evaluation of non-specific effects of infant immunizations on early infant mortality in a southern Indian population

Trop Med Int Health. 2005 Oct;10(10):947-55. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3156.2005.01434.x.


Objective: The aim of this study was to assess the relationship between receipt of routine childhood immunizations and infant mortality before 6 months of age.

Methods: This was an observational study of 10,274 infants, in a randomized trial of vitamin A supplementation, who received the study dose and survived to at least 1 week of age. The primary outcome was mortality before 6 months of age, analysed in Cox regression models as a function of vaccine receipt and gender.

Results: Receipt of Bacille Calmette Guerin (BCG) or diphtheria, tetanus, polio (DTP) vaccine was associated with significant reductions of one-half to two-thirds of mortality hazards; among girls, those who received both BCG and DTP experienced higher mortality than those who received only one of the two vaccines (hazards ratio 2.4; 95% confidence interval 1.2-5.0).

Conclusion: The reduced mortality rate associated with receipt of BCG or DTP may be due to both biological and selection factors; the analyses regarding the combined effect of these vaccines and gender need to be replicated in other settings.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • BCG Vaccine / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis Vaccine / administration & dosage
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunization Schedule
  • Immunization*
  • India / epidemiology
  • Infant
  • Infant Mortality*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Poliovirus Vaccine, Oral / administration & dosage
  • Sex Distribution
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Survival Analysis
  • Vitamin A / administration & dosage


  • BCG Vaccine
  • Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis Vaccine
  • Poliovirus Vaccine, Oral
  • Vitamin A